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250 Update - Roberto Locatelli - Updated Again

I know that many of my readers follow both the 125 and 250 cc world championship, in addition to MotoGP, so I'm posting this for all of you who saw Roberto Locatelli's horrific crash during practice at Jerez last weekend. Eurosport is carrying a story that Roberto Locatelli did not suffer brain damage as a result of the freak accident, which saw Locatelli inexplicably veer off into a tire wall, hitting it at high speed. Locatelli suffered a badly broken ankle, a collapsed lung, chest injuries and broke a lot of bones in his face. He has been kept in a drug-induced coma since he was admitted to hospital. His season, and possibly his career, is at an end, but at least it looks like he got away without suffering brain damage.

I, and I'm sure many of you, wish Roberto a speedy and full recovery.

~~~ UPDATED ~~~

According to Autosport.com, Roberto has regained consciousness and has talked to his girlfriend and the medical staff. Unsurprisingly, he can remember nothing of the crash. He is already asking questions about when he will be able to get back to racing, so at least mentally he is in good shape. Good news.

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MotoGP At Indianapolis: September 2008?

The fact that the owners of Indianapolis Motor Speedway are talking to Dorna in an attempt to get a MotoGP round run at the track is an open secret. FIM officials have already visited the legendary American circuit for a safety inspection. And now, rumors are surfacing that the race is scheduled to take place in September 2008. No details are available, other than paddock scuttlebutt, but the month of September is the firmest mention of a date yet.

Looking at the current calendar, it's hard to see how they could fit another round in, as September sees the Misano, Portugal and Motegi rounds. However, if the other rumor turns out to be true, that China is the GP that will be dropped, then that would allow the Australian round to move to April and the Australian autumn, with much better weather conditions, and mean the Japanese round could be moved up a couple of weeks. The logistics of the program are still vague, and very, very complex.

More as more information surfaces.

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2007 Jerez MotoGP Qualifying Practice Report

After the enigmatic shifts up and down the timesheets between morning and afternoon sessions, this afternoon's qualifying practice session would at least enforce some semblance of order among the riders. And though Dani Pedrosa rode a great lap to take pole position, the semblance of order created was a very fragile thing indeed, with grid positions being won and lost by hundredths, and in a couple of cases, just thousandths of a second.

The first part of the session was spent in the continuing chase of race set up. With the serious temperature differences between the morning and afternoon, the track being up to 40 degrees fahrenheit warmer in the afternoons, several riders, including Valentino Rossi, had complained that the morning sessions were almost useless for testing tire and suspension setups they may use in the race. Casey Stoner led for this part of the session, having put in a decent lap in the mid 1'41s during a set up run.

And the first 40 minutes or so gave us a chance to see who had race pace, a clue to who would be able to run at the front on Sunday. Carlos Checa put in a couple of runs with very consistent, low 1'41 laps, as did Valentino Rossi. Dani Pedrosa was faster, but less consistent, cracking the 1'40 barrier on a couple of laps, but also hitting 1'41.8 repeatedly. The most intriguing part of the afternoon's session was the number of riders seemingly capable of running a 1'41.5 pace almost at will: Colin Edwards, Casey Stoner, Toni Elias, John Hopkins, Marco Melandri, and even Nicky Hayden, the current world champion seeming to be closer to the pace today than yesterday, when he was a worryingly long way down the grid.

Then, with 20 minutes left in the session, Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet drew first blood in the war of the qualifiers, taking over pole from Dani Pedrosa, who had previously set a fast time on race tires. A couple of minutes later, he was joined at the front of the grid by team mate Olivier Jacque. Though few thought de Puniet's time would stand, the young Frenchman had set his time early, and looked like he would repeat his strategy of using 3 qualifying tires, where the consensus among the other teams is only to use 2 qualifiers, preferring not to squander their precious tire allowance on qualifiers, but take an extra race tire.

Six minutes later, the Ducatis disabused the Kawasakis of any notion of holding on to pole. Loris Capirossi started out on pole pace, before losing time in the last section, but Casey Stoner held on to smash the 1'40 barrier, by setting a lap of 1'39.940. The qualifying action then started in earnest, with fast laps coming thick and fast, and pole times being shattered in rapid succession. Stoner's fast lap stood for just 3 minutes, before Valentino Rossi took nearly a tenth off to set pole at 1'39.878. Rossi's Fiat Yamaha team mate Colin Edwards was also quick to get in on the action, as a couple of minutes later, Edwards took another tenth off, setting pole at 1'39.765. Four minutes later, Stoner was back, with another fastest lap of 1'39.524, but this was also to be short-lived. Within 30 seconds, The Doctor was back, taking pole back with a lap of 1'39.453.

But this too, would not be enough. A couple of minutes later, after a barrage of blistering laps, the grid being shook up every time a rider crossed the line, Dani Pedrosa finally settled the pole in his favor, setting a time of 1'39.402, just 5/100ths under Rossi's previous fast time. The Spanish crowd were delirious, having their home favorite starting from the front of the grid tomorrow.

Behind Pedrosa, Rossi hung on to 2nd place, with Carlos Checa, the man who has impressed the crowds all weekend, taking the third and last place on the front row. Checa's lap meant Texas Tornado Colin Edwards was forced back to head up the second row, ahead of Casey Stoner in 5th and another strong showing by John Hopkins. Konica Minolta's Shinya Nakano leads the third row, finally finding some grip from his Michelins, ahead of Hannspree Honda team mates Toni Elias and Marco Melandri. Kenny Roberts Jr steered his KR212V to 10th, with Nicky Hayden forced down to 11th, besides Alex Barros on the Pramac d'Antin Ducati.

But the grid order is almost arbitrary. Less than half a second cover the first 12 riders, and Olivier Jacque is the first rider to be over a second slower than pole sitter Pedrosa down in 16th. And when I say over a second, I mean just three thousandths of a second over a second. That basically means that the first 12 riders are within a half a percent of one another.

How all this plays out remains to be seen. But it's clear that the new tire regulations are obviously beginning to bite. And we have tested at both Qatar and Jerez prior to the season beginning. In a month's time, the MotoGP circus ups sticks to move to Istanbul, a track the riders haven't visited for almost a year. How they will manage with tire selection then will be a real mystery.

But back to tomorrow: with the times so incredibly close, it's hard to make any kind of sensible predictions about Sunday's race. It's clear that Rossi, Checa, and possibly Pedrosa all have genuine race pace, and starting from the front of the grid, must be favorites for the victory. But there will be a veritable horde of riders breathing down their necks, ready to pounce on a single mistake. The racing could be closer than it's been in many, many years. I can't wait.

MotoGP Jerez Qualifying Practice Result.

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2007 Jerez MotoGP Qualifying Practice Report

After the enigmatic shifts up and down the timesheets between morning and afternoon sessions, this afternoon's qualifying practice session would at least enforce some semblance of order among the riders. And though Dani Pedrosa rode a great lap to take pole position, the semblance of order created was a very fragile thing indeed, with grid positions being won and lost by hundredths, and in a couple of cases, just thousandths of a second.

The first part of the session was spent in the continuing chase of race set up. With the serious temperature differences between the morning and afternoon, the track being up to 40 degrees fahrenheit warmer in the afternoons, several riders, including Valentino Rossi, had complained that the morning sessions were almost useless for testing tire and suspension setups they may use in the race. Casey Stoner led for this part of the session, having put in a decent lap in the mid 1'41s during a set up run.

And the first 40 minutes or so gave us a chance to see who had race pace, a clue to who would be able to run at the front on Sunday. Carlos Checa put in a couple of runs with very consistent, low 1'41 laps, as did Valentino Rossi. Dani Pedrosa was faster, but less consistent, cracking the 1'40 barrier on a couple of laps, but also hitting 1'41.8 repeatedly. The most intriguing part of the afternoon's session was the number of riders seemingly capable of running a 1'41.5 pace almost at will: Colin Edwards, Casey Stoner, Toni Elias, John Hopkins, Marco Melandri, and even Nicky Hayden, the current world champion seeming to be closer to the pace today than yesterday, when he was a worryingly long way down the grid.

Then, with 20 minutes left in the session, Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet drew first blood in the war of the qualifiers, taking over pole from Dani Pedrosa, who had previously set a fast time on race tires. A couple of minutes later, he was joined at the front of the grid by team mate Olivier Jacque. Though few thought de Puniet's time would stand, the young Frenchman had set his time early, and looked like he would repeat his strategy of using 3 qualifying tires, where the consensus among the other teams is only to use 2 qualifiers, preferring not to squander their precious tire allowance on qualifiers, but take an extra race tire.

Six minutes later, the Ducatis disabused the Kawasakis of any notion of holding on to pole. Loris Capirossi started out on pole pace, before losing time in the last section, but Casey Stoner held on to smash the 1'40 barrier, by setting a lap of 1'39.940. The qualifying action then started in earnest, with fast laps coming thick and fast, and pole times being shattered in rapid succession. Stoner's fast lap stood for just 3 minutes, before Valentino Rossi took nearly a tenth off to set pole at 1'39.878. Rossi's Fiat Yamaha team mate Colin Edwards was also quick to get in on the action, as a couple of minutes later, Edwards took another tenth off, setting pole at 1'39.765. Four minutes later, Stoner was back, with another fastest lap of 1'39.524, but this was also to be short-lived. Within 30 seconds, The Doctor was back, taking pole back with a lap of 1'39.453.

But this too, would not be enough. A couple of minutes later, after a barrage of blistering laps, the grid being shook up every time a rider crossed the line, Dani Pedrosa finally settled the pole in his favor, setting a time of 1'39.402, just 5/100ths under Rossi's previous fast time. The Spanish crowd were delirious, having their home favorite starting from the front of the grid tomorrow.

Behind Pedrosa, Rossi hung on to 2nd place, with Carlos Checa, the man who has impressed the crowds all weekend, taking the third and last place on the front row. Checa's lap meant Texas Tornado Colin Edwards was forced back to head up the second row, ahead of Casey Stoner in 5th and another strong showing by John Hopkins. Konica Minolta's Shinya Nakano leads the third row, finally finding some grip from his Michelins, ahead of Hannspree Honda team mates Toni Elias and Marco Melandri. Kenny Roberts Jr steered his KR212V to 10th, with Nicky Hayden forced down to 11th, besides Alex Barros on the Pramac d'Antin Ducati.

But the grid order is almost arbitrary. Less than half a second cover the first 12 riders, and Olivier Jacque is the first rider to be over a second slower than pole sitter Pedrosa down in 16th. And when I say over a second, I mean just three thousandths of a second over a second. That basically means that the first 12 riders are within a half a percent of one another.

How all this plays out remains to be seen. But it's clear that the new tire regulations are obviously beginning to bite. And we have tested at both Qatar and Jerez prior to the season beginning. In a month's time, the MotoGP circus ups sticks to move to Istanbul, a track the riders haven't visited for almost a year. How they will manage with tire selection then will be a real mystery.

But back to tomorrow: with the times so incredibly close, it's hard to make any kind of sensible predictions about Sunday's race. It's clear that Rossi, Checa, and possibly Pedrosa all have genuine race pace, and starting from the front of the grid, must be favorites for the victory. But there will be a veritable horde of riders breathing down their necks, ready to pounce on a single mistake. The racing could be closer than it's been in many, many years. I can't wait.

MotoGP Jerez Qualifying Practice Result.

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2007 Jerez MotoGP Qualifying Practice

1 26 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1'39.402
2 46 Valentino ROSSI Fiat Yamaha Team 1'39.453 0.051 0.051
3 7 Carlos CHECA Honda LCR 1'39.460 0.058 0.007
4 5 Colin EDWARDS Fiat Yamaha Team 1'39.486 0.084 0.026
5 27 Casey STONER Ducati Marlboro Team 1'39.524 0.122 0.038
6 21 John HOPKINS Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'39.625 0.223 0.101
7 56 Shinya NAKANO Konica Minolta Honda 1'39.632 0.230 0.007
8 24 Toni ELIAS Honda Gresini 1'39.660 0.258 0.028
9 33 Marco MELANDRI Honda Gresini 1'39.722 0.320 0.062
10 10 Kenny ROBERTS JR Team Roberts 1'39.727 0.325 0.005
11 1 Nicky HAYDEN Repsol Honda Team 1'39.834 0.432 0.107
12 14 Randy DE PUNIET Kawasaki Racing Team 1'39.883 0.481 0.049
13 4 Alex BARROS Pramac d'Antin 1'40.196 0.794 0.313
14 71 Chris VERMEULEN Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'40.328 0.926 0.132
15 65 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati Marlboro Team 1'40.391 0.989 0.063
16 19 Olivier JACQUE Kawasaki Racing Team 1'40.405 1.003 0.014
17 6 Makoto TAMADA Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 1'40.617 1.215 0.212
18 66 Alex HOFMANN Pramac d'Antin 1'40.710 1.308 0.093
19 64 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'41.202 1.800 0.492
20 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 1'41.219 1.817 0.017

Existing Circuit Records:

Fastest Lap: Lap 25 Dani PEDROSA 1'39.402 160.18f Km/h
Circuit Record Lap: 2006 Valentino ROSSI 1'40.596 158.284 Km/h
Circuit Best Lap: 2006 Loris CAPIROSSI 1'39.064 160.732 Km/h

Fastest lap from IRTA Test 2007:

Valentino ROSSI 1'38.394

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Bombshell - Ilmor Withdraws From MotoGP

How hard is it to build a MotoGP bike and run a competitive team from scratch? Unbelievably hard. Just ask Mario Ilien. The British-based Ilmor has just announced that they are withdrawing from MotoGP with immediate effect. The wording they use is "postpone", stating their intention to return once they find the necessary funding. But given the incomprehensible state of MotoGP sponsorship currently, that may not be any time soon. Ilmor could be the first case given to the sports marketing and sponsorship company Wasserman Media Group, which Dorna has just hired to search for an injection of funds for MotoGP.

Ilmor had done a remarkable job building their 800 cc bike from absolutely nothing, but their origin in Formula 1 was clear in the engine characteristics. Where other teams had focussed on mid-range and rideability, the Ilmor seemed still to have too much of a sharp power band, making it hard to get on the gas early enough out of corners without being painfully ejected by the bike, as Jeremy McWilliams discovered so painfully at Jerez late last year. The comparison with Honda and Yamaha is remarkable, where the bikes have been built almost entirely around maximizing corner speed, and drive out of corners, to the cost of top end, which cost them dearly compared to the Ducati.

The full text of the press release is below:

Ilmor GP postpone race programme

Brixworth, Northampton 15.03.07: Ilmor GP Team Principal Mario Illien today announced that the team will not be attending the second round of the MotoGP World Championship next week in Jerez. The teams' race attendance has been suspended for the immediate future however engine development will continue and Illien expects for the team to return to the MotoGP racing scene as soon as key financial partners have been secured.

At this early stage in the project, racing and developing the engine and chassis has proved extremely costly for Ilmor's owners. Since the team launched last year in Estoril at the penultimate round of the MotoGP Championship good progress has been made but further development is needed to become fully competitive on track.

Commenting on the announcement Ilmor GP Team Principal and Part Owner of Ilmor Engineering Mario Illien said: "We discussed the situation in great detail internally and obviously it was an extremely difficult decision for us to make. However once we went through all the options, we decided that the best course of action for the sake of the project as a whole would be to put the racing side of things on hold and continue developing.

"I would like to thank Dorna, IRTA, FIM and our technical partners and suppliers for their on-going support and patience during this time. My heart is still very much in the team - we have had fantastic support from the public and the media with some great coverage worldwide. I would also like to say how enormously proud I am of what we managed to achieve in a short space of time - we have a good group of people who have worked incredibly hard over the past few months. Both riders, Jeremy McWilliams and Andrew Pitt have given their best during a difficult development time - I couldn't have asked for more than that.

"We have important meetings and discussions over the next few weeks which will help us to establish the future of the project and team - I am determined to explore all opportunities available to us and I'm hopeful that there will be a positive outcome."

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Qatar Qualifying Practice - MotoGP 2007

With the rules changing for the 2007 MotoGP season, it was obvious that the series would change too: a new engine size, fewer tires and less fuel were always destined to have a big impact on the course of a weekend, with some changes being more important than others. Ironically, the headline-grabbing change, the change that got all the attention, has so far had the least impact: The reduction in engine sizes, agreed ostensibly to reduce speeds and make the racing safer, has made little difference at all. At both Jerez, and now Losail, lap records have been thoroughly smashed, putting paid to the myth that less engine capacity would slow the bikes down.

During all this time, less attention has been paid to the other changes: the limit to the number of tires riders can use over the course of the weekend; and the reduction in fuel capacity from 22 liters to 21 liters. But these two changes could turn out to be much more significant than the mere loss of 190ccs of engine capacity. The teams are now admitting that their race simulations have shown that fuel will be perilously tight over the duration of a race, with a number of bikes not expected to make it back to the pits from the parade lap. Though nothing is yet certain, we could see future events needing a larger number of pickup trucks at trackside, just to ferry stranded bikes and riders back to the pits. And today's qualifying practice session was the clearest demonstration yet that the tire limitations have had a huge impact on the way the teams approach the race. Having to guess weather and track conditions a couple of days in advance when picking tires has forced the teams into making some painful, and perhaps risky choices.

Practice began more or less as the previous sessions, with John Hopkins the rider first to get into the 1'56 bracket after 10 minutes, only to have Fiat Yamaha's Colin Edwards take his place 4 minutes later. The timesheets showed the same names at the top as had shone during all of the free practice session to date: Edwards and team mate Valentino Rossi, Hopkins on the Rizla Suzuki, and Marlboro Ducati's Casey Stoner. It seemed a pretty safe bet that the man who would eventually take pole would be among this group of names.

Then, after 23 minutes, Frenchman Randy de Puniet sprung a surprise: The young Kawasaki rider had been pretty quick all weekend, but suddenly, he got that bit quicker, taking over the top spot with a time of 1'56.331, the 3rd fastest time set during the practice sessions. This was good enough to hold the top spot until 40 minutes had elapsed, when Colin Edwards stepped up and took back quickest time.

In previous years, this is about the time that the first sets of qualifying tires would start to appear, as riders embarked on the brief, intense skirmish that is the battle for the pole. The first qualifier would be used to check the setup, before two or possibly three more would go on in an attempt to take the prime grid position. But this time, the Michelin- and Bridgestone-shod riders don't have unlimited numbers of qualifiers to burn up going for pole, and the pattern was quite different. With some 20 minutes to go, several people seemed to be out on a softer tire, running a few laps to try and check whether the qualifier setting was right, but without using up the precious "Q's".

It wasn't until the 10 minute to go mark that the first real qualifiers went on, with Stoner being the first to take advantage of the sticky rubber, smashing through the 1'56 barrier to set a lap of 1'55.794. Within a couple of minutes, Colin Edwards struck back, taking both the pole, and Stoner's pole record from 2006, shaving three hundredths of a second off last year's time. After the first round of qualifiers had been used up, the Fiat Yamaha team looked to have come off ahead, with Edwards fastest and Rossi 3rd, sandwiching Casey Stoner in 2nd. Randy de Puniet and John Hopkins were in 4th and 5th, while the Repsol Honda riders held 6th and 7th, Nicky Hayden losing out to Dani Pedrosa for 6th.

Then, as everyone exited the pit straight at more or less the same time, we witnessed a remarkable spectacle, more reminiscent of the 125 class than MotoGP. During 125 qualifying, you will often see large groups of riders all riding round slowly, looking backwards, and waiting for other riders. This is because the 125s need all the help they can get to achieve their top speeds, and slipstreaming a faster bike is a good way of grabbing a couple of tenths, climbing up a few places on the grid. And now, the MotoGP bikes were exhibiting the same behavior: looking around, waiting for other riders. But unlike the 125s, they were looking for a clear space, for this fast lap really is it. If they mess up, because another rider is ahead of them slowing them up, then that's the end of qualifying, they can no longer shoot back into the pits for one last qualifier in the hope of making another fast lap. They either get it right, or suffer on the grid.

As the seconds ticked way, a lot of riders got it right, but it was Valentino Rossi who got it most right of all, smashing the pole record by over 0.6 seconds, and coming within a whisker of breaking into the 1'54s. But Rossi's time was only just good enough for pole, beating Casey Stoner into 2nd by a mere 5 thousandths of a second. To make the joy complete for Fiat Yamaha, Colin Edwards took 3rd a couple of 10ths behind.

Where Randy de Puniet had surprised us all earlier, now it was Toni Elias' turn to surprise us, taking 4th place on his Hannspree Honda, after being fairly invisible for most of the weekend. His margin over Dani Pedrosa was small, but enough to push the Repsol Honda rider into 5th. Suzuki's John Hopkins had battled through the pain to take 6th, half a second down on Pedrosa. He is still in a great deal of pain after his accident here 4 weeks ago, and it must be questionable whether he will be able to put up with the pain for the full duration of a race.

Loris Capirossi heads up the 3rd row on his Marlboro Ducati, ahead of Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet and reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden. Hayden will not be pleased with 9th, but in the light of his tough weekend so far, he is probably glad he isn't further down the order. Marco Melandri rounds out the top 10.

The weather so far has been perfect, warm, but without truly track melting temperatures, but already tire issues are starting to surface. Choosing tires to use two days hence is a difficult business, and some of the teams look like having their gambles not pay off. Add tire issues to the potential fuel problems tomorrow, and the race looks like being an absolute cracker. Not long left to wait.

1 46 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA 1'55.002
2 27 Casey STONER DUCATI 1'55.007
3 5 Colin EDWARDS YAMAHA 1'55.233
4 24 Toni ELIAS HONDA 1'55.358
5 26 Dani PEDROSA HONDA 1'55.361
6 21 John HOPKINS SUZUKI 1'55.833
7 65 Loris CAPIROSSI DUCATI 1'55.851
8 14 Randy DE PUNIET KAWASAKI 1'55.933
9 1 Nicky HAYDEN HONDA 1'56.041
10 33 Marco MELANDRI HONDA 1'56.222
11 56 Shinya NAKANO HONDA 1'56.306
12 7 Carlos CHECA HONDA 1'56.609
13 71 Chris VERMEULEN SUZUKI 1'56.639
14 19 Olivier JACQUE KAWASAKI 1'56.754
15 4 Alex BARROS DUCATI 1'56.814
16 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI YAMAHA 1'57.257
17 66 Alex HOFMANN DUCATI 1'57.274
18 10 Kenny ROBERTS JR KR212V 1'57.495
19 6 Makoto TAMADA YAMAHA 1'58.024
20 99 Jeremy McWILLIAMS ILMOR GP 1'59.606
21 88 Andrew PITT ILMOR GP 1'59.725

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It's Official - Yamaha To Be Sponsored By Fiat For 2007

What we've suspected for a long time has finally been officially announced: Fiat will be sponsoring Yamaha for the 2007 season. And they're back in blue: According to the photos over on Motoblog.it, the livery is all blue and white. Obviously, yellow didn't work out so well for Rossi last year, even though it is his lucky color. Blue definitely worked better before, and now its back.

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A Timing Comparison Between The Irta Test And The 2006 MotoGP Race

With the full timesheets in hand from MotoGP.com, I crunched some numbers on the test data, just to get a real feel for how fast the 800s are. I compared times from the longest runs I could find, a 24 lap run for Randy de Puniet on Day 2, and a 25 lap run for Dani Pedrosa on Day 3, and compared the times set with the times set by Capirossi when winning last year's race.

The numbers are remarkable. On the Saturday, a day which started misty, and with far from ideal conditions, De Puniet, who set the 8th fastest time overall, ran a sequence of laps which were under 8 seconds slower than Capirossi's time for the same distance. That pace would have given him 3rd place during the race weekend, an astounding result.

But here's something even more astounding. On Day 3, in the afternoon session after the Qualifying Practice, where Dani Pedrosa narrowly missed out on a BMW Z4, the tiny Spaniard ran a race simulation of 25 laps. He ran those laps a full 3 seconds faster than Capirossi's race-winning pace, lapping over 0.1 seconds faster per lap.

There can be no doubt that Pedrosa was in excellent form on the Sunday, as Valentino Rossi, Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden all ran similar race simulations during the same session, but were all significantly slower. What a season awaits us ...

The times:

Capirossi, Race, 2006
Lap no. Lap time Top speed
2 1'41.25 280.7
3 1'41.42 277.6
4 1'41.8 276.4
5 1'41.57 279
6 1'41.41 276.9
7 1'41.8 277.6
8 1'41.8 275.9
9 1'41.93 276.6
10 1'41.98 274.7
11 1'41.8 277.4
12 1'41.98 278.5
13 1'41.85 276.6
14 1'41.89 277.7
15 1'41.91 278.8
16 1'41.91 276.7
17 1'41.92 276.4
18 1'42.09 278.4
19 1'41.89 278.6
20 1'42.25 277.6
21 1'41.76 278.3
22 1'42.17 275.8
23 1'41.94 277.1
24 1'42.16 277.7
25 1'42 278.1
26 1'42.08 277.8
Total time 42'26.54
Average lap: 1'41.86
Avg. speed: 277.48
De Puniet, 8th fastest, day 2 Irta test, 2007
Lap no. Lap time Top speed
50 1'42.57 260.9
51 1'41.82 262.9
52 1'41.73 262.5
53 1'41.58 262.6
54 1'41.99 262.1
55 1'41.72 262.6
56 1'41.99 262.9
57 1'42.17 261.7
58 1'42.01 261.8
59 1'42.08 262.8
60 1'42.09 261.8
61 1'41.99 261.6
62 1'42.23 261.2
63 1'42.18 262.5
64 1'42.06 264.6
65 1'42.15 264.3
66 1'42.15 263.5
67 1'42.25 263.4
68 1'42.16 263.3
69 1'42.65 262.6
70 1'42.56 262.6
71 1'42.56 262.2
72 1'42.7 261.4
73 1'42.32 263.4
74 1'42.42 262.8
Total time 42'34.11
Average lap: 1'42.16
Avg. speed: 262.56
pedrosa, 5th fastest, day 2 Irta test, 2007
Lap no. Lap time Top speed
3 1'42.64 265.9
4 1'42 267.1
5 1'41.63 267.1
6 1'41.46 265.1
7 1'41.3 264.8
8 1'41.48 263.6
9 1'41.59 264.3
10 1'41.84 264.8
11 1'41.76 265.4
12 1'41.54 267.1
13 1'41.37 266.1
14 1'41.44 266.4
15 1'41.63 264.4
16 1'41.72 266.4
17 1'41.68 267.2
18 1'41.87 267.3
19 1'41.87 265.8
20 1'41.71 266.9
21 1'41.87 265
22 1'41.48 266.4
23 1'41.8 267
24 1'41.79 265.7
25 1'42.46 267.1
26 1'41.95 264.4
27 1'41.67 265.6
Total time 42'23.57
Average lap: 1'41.74
Avg. speed: 265.88

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Yamaha To Present Fiat Sponsorship On Monday

With so much talk of the lack of sponsors in MotoGP over the last few weeks and months, one mystery is soon set to come to an end. The question of who would sponsor Valentino Rossi's Factory Yamaha team was a worrying one, for if no one could be found to fund the biggest name in MotoGP, what chance would the smaller teams have of finding sufficient funding?

The mystery is set to be resolved on Monday, according to MotoGrandPrix.it. They are reporting that Yamaha will present Fiat sponsorship on Monday. The deal had been rumored for several weeks, especially as Valentino Rossi is expected to switch to the World Rally Championship after he retires from racing. Rossi would then race the new rally version of a Fiat Punto due to be launched later this year.

~~~ UPDATE ~~~

It seems the deed is done. More here.

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